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Entangled Histories of Art and Migration

Theories, Sites and Research Methods

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Dedicated to the stories of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and exiles, this collection asks how these stories are interwoven with art, art practices, activism, reception, and (re-)presentation. It explores the complex entanglements of art and aesthetic practices with migration, flight, and other forms of enforced dislocation and border/border crossings in global contexts - the latter significant phenomena of social transformation in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

These complex entanglements take centre stage when migration shapes forms and aesthetics (and vice versa), when actors employ image politics and visualisation strategies in and about migration at different times and places, or when materialities, sites, and spaces gain importance for decision-making processes. Taking an art and cultural studies perspective, the book questions the significance of spatial changes for artistic practice in migration and elaborates on new or different theory-formation.

Interweaves histories of modernism and exile in different urban environments and focuses on historical dislocations in the first half of the twentieth century, when artistic and urban movements constituted themselves in global exchange. Although this book takes a historical perspective, it is written with an awareness of current flight movements and will make a significant contribution to the theory and methodology of research on exile.

The knowledge of previous historical exile experiences is important for the understanding of contemporary flight movements: after all, these are not singular phenomena. For migration movements in the first half of the 20th century and for those of today, it is equally possible to speak of urban centres of attraction for refugees: Today, Berlin is a European metropolis of exile; in the 1930s and 1940s, Paris, Prague, London, New York, Istanbul and Shanghai were destinations for refugees.

Related Topics: Visual Arts


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